Elmhurst, Illinois, was the birthplace of Lila Watt, the only daughter of Melvin and Charlotte (Daley) Watt, and the fact of where she was born led to an incident which was passed down as part of family lore.
Melvin and Charlotte were both of Scottish and Irish descent – with some German and Dutch on Melvin’s side as well – with Melvin mostly Scottish and Charlotte mostly Irish (and very proud of that fact). And as the story goes, one evening when Lila was very young she began crying at the dinner table and when her parents asked what was wrong, her reply was that she had heard them say that foreigners would be sent out of the country. “I figured that applied to me because I was born in the country of Elmhurst, Illinois, not Chicago,” she said in her life story.
Very little is known about Sister Lila’s parents other than their heritage, but according to Sister Lila, the Watt family, which also included her older brother Melvin and her two younger brothers Harry and Neil, was a happy one. Her father, a convert to Catholicism whom Sister Lila remembered kneeling every night to recite the Rosary, liked to tell jokes, was never angry, and never spoke negatively of anyone, while Charlotte was a wonderful mother who enjoying being at home to care for the family.
Read more about Sister Lila (PDF)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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